08 January, 2012

I'm not hungry no more

I think I have developed a certain reputation for enjoying food, preferably of good quality and in wholesome quantities.

However, this week I experienced the unpleasant feeling of not wanting to eat. My parents and I went up to the northern tip of Chile in the Andean village of Putre, altitude: 3 500 m. The weather was typical of what is called the "Bolivian winter": cold temperatures, rain and drizzle all day, all night.
Weather conditions were inhospitable and the feeling of uncomfort was made much worse by the thin air and low level of oxygen. Result: altitude sickness for my mother and me. Head throbbing, heart running wild, sleepless nights, falling asleep all day, feeling sick once in a while. Luckily we had no physical effort to make as we toured the region in a vehicle.

The only way to escape the rain was to move further up to the altiplano above 4 500 m where the sun would shine in the mornings, but of course, it made the altitude sickness worse.

We even went very high up to see the Andean volcanic peaks.

It felt strange and unpleasant to arrive at meal times and not want to eat at all, sometimes having to force myself to eat just a bit.

Luckily, by the third day my body had started to get used to the lack of oxygen and my appetite came back as the altitude sickness subsided. And then the weather cleared and the views were stunning!
Losing my appetite

5 250 m photo: Pheck Yin Cadilhon

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